How safe are the commonly prescribed pain medications?

Pretty safe. Nsaid's are more risky as we get older, ulcer, kidney damage, heart attacks. There are the same as motrin, ibuprofen, naprosyn, Aleve (naproxen) otc. There is tylanol, important not to take to much and not good for those with liver problems. Opiates taken as prescribed have issues with addiction fatigue, constipation. A thoughtful doctor can make a decision based on that particular person's situation.